Great party games and activities for toddlers

by Alenka

We have discussed the Perfect Birthday Party for a Perfect Toddler in detail.  That blog post had some games that we were playing at my youngest boy’s birthday party.  That post goes into details how we set up this party, how to search for hidden treasures in a rice box, how to make a fun dance with the scarves, what do we play a parachute, how toddlers get to decorate their party space, what’s a good obstacle course for them … but I had more things in my party plan.  What if parachute, or rice box just do not excite my little guests as much as I wish?  I always like to be ready for a volcano eruption.  I always like to have a backup.  That means,

More Games, More Party Activities!

1.  Musical Spots

Supplies: felt or foam “spots – just get a pack of letter sized sheets of foam or felt in your craft store


Activities: Lay the“spots in a large circle around the room; as many as there are kids.  Turn on the music.  Similarly to Musical Chairs, kids run around them while the music plays and jump on a spot once it stops.  The BIG difference: no winners, no losers, no taking out “spots.  Everybody wins every time.  Congratulate your little participants and tell them what color they landed on.  Getting on a spot is hard enough for them at that age, they deserve be proud.

2.  Balloon Toss

Supplies: many small inflated balloons, hula hoops, pillows, tunnels, cardboard boxes

Activities: You can set up your tunnels, pillows, cardboard boxes, hula hoop obstacle course, and ask one of the parents to hold the hula hoop at the end.  Kids have to go through the obstacle course and throw a balloon into the hula hoop.  Throwing is always fun, and getting through obstacles while clutching something in their hands is always easier for the little ones for some reason.

3.   Ribbon Dance

Supplies: In advance, cut down some gift wrapping ribbons and tie them to small rings.


Activities: Turn on the music, give each kid one or two rings with ribbons and dance!  Pick it up, wave it in the air, shake it down low, to the side, in the middle (together), or far away…

4.    Old McDonald Had a Farm

Supplies: a box full of little farm animals; Old McDonald Had a Farm song.


Activities: Turn on the music, sit kids around the box, sing a song, one by one take the animals out, make it’s silly sound and give each participant to hold one.  Little ones always love it.

5.  Shake it Up, Baby!

Supplies: shakers, maracas, or bells, or other noisemakers; “Shake it Up Baby song or any other dance tune you like.


Activities: Give each kid two noisemakers, shake to the beat, march around the room with your shakers, hit two shakers together, shake up high, low, to the side… you’ve got the idea.


6.  Magic Gates

Supplies: two parents holding hands together up high, aka “The Magic Gates

Activities: Sing The Magic Gate Song.  Kids run underneath the hands of the two adults how are “The Gates.  At the last line, “The Gates  and catch whoever is trying to pass through them.  You’ll rarely find a game that rewards you with so many giggles.  The words:
The Magic Gates in our town
Let the kids run all around.
It’s first time: you may pass,
It’s second: make it fast,
It’s third: we catch the last!

7.  Nursery Rhymes

Supplies: music

Activities: Usually, we don’t do them one by one, but disperse through the party. Or, if you have a character come over for your party, dance it with him: it really helps kids relax around the big furry monster and get comfortable to approach him.  These are our favorite Nursery Rhymes:

  • If You Happy And You Know it
  • Wheels On the Bus
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • Hokey Pokey
  • Chicken dance
  • Monkey Dance

 8.  Ring Around The Rosy Game

Supplies: none, even music is optional

Activities: kids (and mommies), hold their hands in a big circle and walk around singing the rhyme.  At the point of “fell down, kneel down!  Change direction.  Change wording: “fall down, “go inside (come to the circle), “go wide (stretch really wide, “go fast (run faster around the circle).  Simple, yet tons of fun.

9.  Stamps

Supplies: stamps (non-toxic).

Activities: Make a stamp on a hand (or foot) for each little one.

10.  Face Painting

Supplies: washable non-toxic paints, few brushes


Activities: It doesn’t even have to be face paints, as long as they are washable and non-toxic.  Toddlers neither care nor have patience  for artistic all-face decor.  A little car that they can see on hand, a heart, a butterfly on a chick, a flower – is all you need.

Have fun partying around!